Free of obstructed views and fair-weathered opinions
The A.J./Twitter Experiment
Throughout his second-half trials and tribulations, I’ve wanted to defend A.J. Burnett. Really, I have. Aside from the occasional lapse of judgment, I haven’t seen anything off the field that would warrant him not deserving my support. With a rising ERA in every start since his 7-inning gem on June 29th, however, it got increasingly difficult to put a positive spin on any of those subsequent performances. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a reason to believe he would turn it around — and being on Twitter for these starts made it worse. The social networking powerhouse has proven over time to be good for many things; but since July it had become unbearable to see my time line throw a fit over every little thing Burnett was doing wrong. So last night, I decided to follow the lead of fellow blogger and good friend Stacey and not tweet during the game. (Feel free to read her A.J. defense post.)
WHY THE HELL DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS SOONER?
It was the most liberating experience I’ve had in my 2 1/2 years on Twitter. Watching the game without having to worry about anyone overreacting to anything that didn’t go Burnett’s way was pure bliss. And here’s the kicker … he threw a good ballgame: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He still didn’t get the run support he needed to notch the win, but I’m okay with that because he kept the Yanks in the game until they managed to break through against the Red Sox bullpen in the 7th inning. The A.J./Twitter experiment turned out to have a double-positive effect because I was able to avoid the attempted snark in regard to Jesus Montero’s major league debut (0-4 with a HBP and run scored).
So for now, A.J.’s spot in the rotation seems to be safe. You can’t help but give him props for hanging in there against a tough team like Boston and helping the Yankees win two of three in Fenway. The whole experiment prompted this tweet to me from Stacey:
Hmmm maybe it’s been you all this time? 😉
We’ll find out on Tuesday!